What’s the best portable dry herb vaporizer, and where to find it? That’s exactly what this post is about. Compared to smoking marijuana, making the switch to a vaporizer comes with distinct benefits. If you’ve never vaped dry herb before, you’ll likely be surprised by how much more smooth and tasteful it is than smoking, as well as by the absence of coughing.
So, which awesome portable dry herb vaporizers should you know about in 2019?
I’ve recently been exploring this place called MigVapor, and they claim to have the most advanced and efficient dry herb vape pens on the market. It’s a bold statement, but after having spent a good chunk of time going over it appears to be backed by solid product spec’s and reviews.
When comparing with other vapes on the market, the ones by MigVapor stand tall. We’ll be taking a closer look at
Let’s talk about the benefits of vaping first (but not too much, promised!)
Add to the increased flavor and health benefits that with vaping you get more use out of the dry herb than with smoking, making it more cost-efficient. Using cannabis in a vaporizer is so much more efficient that the vaping device pretty much pays for itself.
That’s quantitatively speaking; there is another advantage to vaping: the precise temperature control and generally lower temperature it uses to release those cannabinoids.
Vaporizing uses a lower temperature than burning. This keeps more of the terpenes and cannabinoids intact. Burning one is the equivalent of just winging it and catching what you can. With vaporizing, less of the active compounds are lost to the excessive heat they’re exposed to when smoking. So qualitatively you also get more bang for your buck.
Forget about the giant clouds produced by e-liquid vaporizers used by the non-cannabis crowd to smoke other concoctions. Huge clouds aren’t really what you want anyway, at least not when in pursuit of the optimal way to vape dry herb.
About big clouds & brown herb
The fluffy cloud monsters are the result of combustion, and overheated flower. If the green matter looks brown after use, that means the volatile compounds got hot enough to turn into gases instead of vapor. What’s the point of vaporizing herb so hot you basically miss out on the true benefits of vaping over smoking, one might wonder?
Then again, maybe you simply have a taste for fancy electronic tech-gadgets and like to run ’em hard. So even if less cannabinoids make it out alive, that is a perfectly fine reason to grab a hold of one of these portable dry herb vapes too.
The main goal is for this overview to be valuable for you – the reader. Listing my own bias seems crucial in the sense that it’ll give you insight in which features I tend to value most in a portable dry herb vaporizer.
You don’t have to agree with me on what is important in a handheld vape, by the way – the list should still be quite useful, even if you personally attach more value to other things. My aim is simply to compare different models and features as best possible, and perhaps you’ll just end up picking a different one as your top choice.
1. Which material is the chamber made of?
The chamber is the one part of a dry herb vape to makes direct contact with the flower. Can you picture what happens to food baking in a ceramic pan, and then what goes on in a steel or aluminum one? Doesn’t this make it a no-brainer to choose a chamber made with a ceramic material, porcelain or quartz?
I’m honestly not sure why anyone would still want anything with a metal chamber, in spite of it being aerospace aluminum or other fancy designations.
2. Combustion vs. Convection
It seems there is the occasional vape that uses combustion and actually pulls it off. The PAX often gets mentioned as a high-end, great quality vaporizer, despite it being built around the principle of combustion.
With that said, convection is undeniably known for great flavor, and for being friendlier on those terpenes. The plain and simple truth is that combustion is just that much closer to smoking. I guess what I’m saying here is: if you’re going to vape, you might as well do it right.
3. Battery life
Battery life is an interesting feature, but far less than the quality of the vapor and the vaporizer itself. This is of course directly related to how much you want to be able to vape on location, and for how long you’ll be on-the-go without a charge top-off. To someone else, the battery life will rightfully be a crucial difference between the best portable dry herb vaporizers and mediocre ones.
4. Temperature settings
Very important. For one, the flavor depends on using a temperature that is just right – not so high as to nuke a good deal of the terpenes, but of course not so low where nothing happens.
5. Ease of operation
Ease of use is a bit of a conundrum. If being easy to use means you can access exactly the features you need with a minimum of effort, then by all means, yes, please. But if ease of use stands synonym for a lack of control, I’ll favor control. Even if that means more buttons or more work.
The DRAY dry herb vaporizer: editor’s pick
- Quartz chamber and heating element
- Precise temperature control, down to the degree. This highly variable temperature setting is one of the Dray’s key features
- Easy to hold, good grip, great design
- Easy to clean
- The magnet cover (magnetic mouthpiece) is very secure, functional and effective.
- Vibration alerts when ready for use and when being turned off
- Fast charging
- Heats up quickly
- Small and light, but sturdy and well-built
The chamber is on the smaller side and well suited to individual users. It holds about the same amount as a hand pipe, which should be good for roughly 3-4 sessions. (The Matrix, on the other hand, is an older model and great for when more people participate in the fun.)
Battery life isn’t the longest and outranked by – for example – the famous PAX. However, not everyone agrees on this one. You’ll also find reviewers who applaud the DRAY’s battery life. The DRAY lets you know exactly how much battery is left, which is a feature the PAX does not have.
The mouthpiece tends to get quite warm when used for multiple sessions back to back. This is due to the vaporizing taking place rather close to the mouthpiece. DaVinci, for example, has the vaporizer located at the bottom and a glass straw leading to the mouthpiece. Opinions vary on the extent to which this is a problem, and the Dray does come with a solution in the form of a rubber (silicone) mouthpiece cover to act as a buffer.
Not everyone likes the vibration feature. Mainly, it gets blamed for draining the battery faster than a full charge would go without said buzzing.
Best quality for the price
An affordable, but high quality bad-ass lil’ vape, this is by far one of the best portable dry herb vaporizers you can get for the price point.
The DRAY vs. other portable dry herb vapes
Versus the PAX: The PAX doesn’t show how much battery life is left, this one does. Precise temperature control is a feature not many other handheld and pocket vaporizers have. DRAY battery life and warm-up time are supposedly better, although these have been improved with the PAX 3 versus earlier PAX models. Still – the DRAY is half the price.
Versus the Matrix: The Matrix has a bigger chamber, but the DRAY is better rated overall.
Versus the G Pen: The G Pen may last a few days on one charge. The DRAY needs juice more often. It’s much better looking, though – according to my husband, at least.
Versus other famous portable dry herb vaporizers made by Davinci (such as the Ascent or the newer IQ) and Storz & Bickel (the Crafty and the Mighty) the DRAY’s much friendlier price tag is a clear advantage.
Other dry herb vaporizers the DRAY blows out of the water according to reviewers include the Firefly and the Atmos.
Fun fact: one user even reports his DRAY survived a full cycle in the washing machine. Wouldn’t try this on purpose, though!
PAX 3: a famous classic, updated version
If you have a soft spot for sexy looking apple-style electronic devices, you wouldn’t forgive me for not including the famous PAX, so here it is.
The PAX 3 has been fine-tuned throughout the years into the high-end third generation model it is now. If you’re in the market for a $200+ portable dry herb vaporizer, here’s what the PAX 3 has to offer.
- Sleek design
- Relatively long battery life
- Hash oil insert
- Lightweight and portable
- Four temperature modes: in Fahrenheit those are 360, 380, 400 and 420.
- Uses conduction heating (not convection, which is known for delivering more subtle flavor)
- Heat up time has been improved to 15 seconds
Control through the app is not without certain frustrations. Allegedly, you’ll need to allow for geo-tagging to be able to use the app. (Hello, big brother.) My own apprehensions about that concept aren’t even part of a conspiracy theory. When I am already more on my phone than I’d like to admit, I really don’t care for its involvement in those moments that should count as downtime/time away from said little screen. Ideally, engaging in activities of a herbal nature is done mindfully, and present in that moment. Not while have my attention sucked into yet another app.
But that’s just me and I can totally see the app-control being a big plus for some. While you can of course use the PAX 3 without the app, you’d better be excited about the feature, since the development and implementation of it is obviously factored into the purchase price.
Pro 50 Combustor Dry Herb Vaporizer
This portable dry herb Vaporizer’s LED screen is located on the bottom. Charging happens via USB and a full charge takes no more than an hour approx. The temperature can be set to the half watt, which is the equivalent of how many degrees?
The coil, spring and plate are made from patented black ceramic porcelain. Dropping on the floor can break this part, but the rough and/or clumsier crowd can breathe easy knowing replacement parts are available. The Pro 50 Combustor isn’t as sturdy as the Dray, a fact to take into consideration if your lifestyle is active.
Torpedo: elegant & affordable
- Very discreet
- Light weight
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Can be used while charging
- Quick to heat up
- Takes about two hours to charge
- Most ideal for a single user
The torpedo is a portable dry herb vaporizer with a sleek, long design. It comes with five (!) silicone mouth pieces: three regular sized white ones and two longer black ones.
This portable dry herb vape pen can be charged via USB or a wall charger – the wall charger is not included but can be found here.
The Torpedo has three temperature settings, which is decent but much less precise than the DRAY. Blue light equals 420F/215C, green heats at 380F/193C and red is the lowest setting with 320F/160C.
There are some concerns surrounding the design of the mouth piece, and its material (plastic). The silicone cover (included) acts as a barrier between the potentially hot mouth piece and prevents scalded lips.
The Torpedo is cheaper than the DRAY, and doesn’t share the DRAY’s sturdy build, variable temperature setting (to the degree), or quartz chamber and coil. It’s a personal choice, but these three things happen to be very high on my demand list. If the additional fifty bucks are within your limits, I’d say the DRAY is definitely a worthwhile step up.
With that said, for a budget that is strictly under $100, the Torpedo is a very good choice. With up to $100 to spend, you’ll automatically be looking at lower end vaporizers. The Torpedo definitely stands its ground among competing devices. The other good thing about it is MigVapor’s excellent customer service: they go above and beyond to make sure their customers are taken care of, and that peace of mind is worth something.
Herb-e: the smallest dry herb vaporizer
- Super tiny
- Friendly priced
- Very discrete
- Low odor
- Perfect for that random toke on the go
- Heats herb evenly
- Easy to clean
- Aerospace aluminum chamber
- Two temperature settings
Figuring out how best to use this tiny vape pen is perhaps a tad less intuitive. Then again – this will probably depend on how technical your brain is wired and how familiar you are with vaporizers in general.
You turn it on by pressing the home button five times, and pick a temperature setting from two options: less hot and more hot. Basic, but it does the trick. The Herb-e takes about 20-30 seconds to heat up, followed by two minutes of vaping time before it automatically shuts off. Recommended waiting time in between sessions is fifteen minutes.
Expect approximately eight to ten two-minute sessions per charge on red mode, also referred to as “angry mode”. The other available setting with a lower temperature features a yellow light and lights up showing “happy eyes”. The highest setting is the most popular one.
The chamber holds about half a gram. Even though it is small (not overly but just due to the size of the device itself), it’s more than big enough for the Herb-e’s intended use. Finely ground material works best. Don’t be tempted to pack your herb too tightly. Stuffing the chamber would compromise good airflow, and as a result, even heating.
The magnetic oven door/mouth piece could use some stronger magnets, a critique of the Herb-e that shows up across multiple reviews.
With that said, the Herb-e has been described as a perfect balance between functionality and simplicity. This dry herb vape too is a single user’s gadget – which may be obvious, considering it is one of the tiniest vaporizer you’ll find! It also is not the kind of machine you want to use to get baked, which is not to say it can’t give a good solid high. It can.
The Herb-e’s strong suit is in being discrete, low odor, small and portable. As such, it is perfect for when you’re out and about, and for taking a fast (ideally pre-packed) hit. Chronic pain management on the go, toning down some anxiety throughout the day, a quick recreational pick-me-up… You get the idea.